Pics.io – An Online Photo Converting, Editing, Sharing, and Storage Service for RAW Files

Posted Jun. 10th, 2014 by Jill Mangum

Pics.io –  An Online Photo Converting, Editing, Sharing, and Storage Service for RAW Files

There are plenty of inexpensive, even free, photo editing and online sharing outlets available out there, but there aren’t too many that allow you to edit and share photos using your camera’s RAW files – most services/products out there are only willing to deal with JPGs, PNGs, or other smaller web-based digital file formats.

Enter Pics.io, a new cloud-based, online service offering a RAW file image converter, photo editor, live photo sharing, and an online cloud-based storage option that allows you or anyone else logged into your account to work on your photos from anywhere there is Internet access, on any device. Dan recently discovered this service in an online article while trying to figure out a good solution to our own image storage dilemmas and passed it along to me to share with you. I started looking into it and decided to delve a little more deeply than Dan probably anticipated, but it’s good to have a strong hold on what we’re getting into here…this could be the start of a new sort of digital revolution for those who prefer to use more advanced digital cameras.

RAW or JPG? – A Better Understanding

It’s easy to sign up for an account with Pics.io. I did have some trouble with the login confirmation email that was sent to me after creating an account, however, after emailing tech support, I received a prompt reply (considering the time difference between Montana and Ukraine) from Konstantin telling me that my account has been approved manually. Good customer service is always a plus in my book!

Now that my account is confirmed, it’s time to login and see what this service has to offer. To my surprise, I am finding out that the service is still in alpha testing, meaning that it is most likely not quite up to public release standards and still has some issues to work out, AKA patience is required! The plus side of this is that they let you know right away – see the message I received below right when I logged in for the first time.

A message received after logging into my account on Pics.io.

This dialog box popped up after logging into my account on Pics.io.

I’m now in the process of trying to upload some photos but am having a hard time connecting to Google drive. Have sent another email to Konstantin to see if we can figure out what the issue is. It might have something to do with the email address I used, but it is TBD.

In the meantime, am poking around a bit using some of their sample images. – mainly checking out the editing features. Though I suppose I am sort of professionally trained with photo editing software, this part of the service seems pretty straightforward and easy to use. A lot of the tools resemble something you would see/use in Photoshop or Lightroom, such as the crop tool, brightness/contrast, sharpening, rotate – all of your basic tools plus a few extra like sepia, red-eye removal, and temperature, just to name a few. The tools seem to be fairly quick, and it’s pretty easy to step backward if you don’t like the result of the changes.

Editin in picsio

A screenshot of the editing screen on Pics.io. It may be hard to read, but here you can see one of the drop-down menus offering a multitude of photo editing options.

Although Pics.io is in alpha/beta testing stage, it’s definitely a service/product that we’re excited about. Konstantin was kind enough to send me the link below describing in more detail the story behind Pics.io.

About Pics.io Products

Also, just from browsing around their website, it seems they have some great ideas lined up. Below lists some of the possible pros and cons of Pics.io.

Pics.io seems to offer many benefits, including:

  • Pics.io uses a web browser rather than a specific file system/device for photo editing and storage, meaning it is easy to switch between your electronic devices – go easily from your desktop to your laptop or smartphone and vice versa.
  • A web browser also means you don’t need to worry about different software, OS, or file systems – Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems will get the same tools that work the same way.
  • They implement non-destructive RAW editing, allowing you to revert any changes made to an image at any time.
  • Batch processing for copying adjustments from one image to another while editing
  • Does not require a fast Internet connection – by processing images locally in a browser rather than on a server, Pics.io uses cloud storage for syncing, backing up, and easy sharing.

The possible cons of Pics.io:

  • Firefox or Google Chrome browsers only (for those who prefer Safari, like me:), but I suppose this makes sense since Windows users supposedly aren’t getting security updates for Safari any longer, or so I’ve heard through the grapevine.
  • RAW files accepted are CR2, NEF, and DNG – Dan will be disappointed the Lumix RW2 is not supported…yet
  • Only in alpha/beta stage – it will most likely be a little while before we get to see and experience its full potential.

In conclusion (for today, anyhow), it looks like we have some time before a final product is ready and everything is flowing smoothly, but this is definitely a service that has potential to be highly beneficial for many of you who like the idea of not being tied down to one device, spending a boat load of money on fancy software, and/or having the ability to work with images of high quality via on online service. We’ll keep you posted as this technology progresses. Go PIcs.io! Stay tuned 🙂

Update: I was curious if/what the cost will be for this service, so I emailed Konstantin. I was informed that raw.pics.io. edit.pics.io and live.pics.io will be free and always available services, but then if people want an integrated workflow with cloud storage integration they would pay a subscription for Pics.io – TBA.

Add Your Voice!
There are 5 comments on this post…
  1. Konstantin ShtondenkoOn Jun. 12th, 2014

    As with any cloud service, as long as you don’t share your password with someone else, you’re safe. As for storage redundancy… Google Drive replicates files multiple times, so you have less than 0,00001% chance of losing a file. That’s another benefit of cloud storage over local HDD one.

    • Portrait of Jill Mangum

      Jill MangumOn Jun. 12th, 2014

      Konstantin – Thanks for your input. Those odds sound pretty low 🙂 Hope this helps to address your concerns, Thomas.

  2. Thomas WiewandtOn Jun. 11th, 2014

    In cloud storage discussions such as this, why are potential security issues left out of the picture?

    • Portrait of Jill Mangum

      Jill MangumOn Jun. 11th, 2014

      Hi Thomas,

      A valid question. Honestly it’s a relatively new discussion/area to me, so it didn’t even occur to me to check into it. I’ll send Konstantin an email to get TopTechPhoto’s thoughts and get back to you with a reply. Perhaps Dan also has some input.

      Best,

      Jill

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 13th, 2014

      Thomas,

      Can you explain more clearly what security issues concern you? I’m not that worried about it. Maybe i should be but until I hear of problems I’m not aware of, I’m not losing any sleep over it. Hope to hear more of your thoughts.

Add your voice to this conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In an effort to combat spam, your comment may be held for a brief moderation period.

Natural Exposures, Inc.